Vela is the new generation of boats: they’re 3D printed (yes—you read that right), built with sustainable materials, light, fast, and overall incredibly incredible.
To create an identity, UX and UI that steers miles away from the often lackluster boat industry, crafting an engaging, exciting, and easy dream-come-true experience—you’re buying a boat after all. There shouldn’t be anything boring or complicated about it.
Following Vela’s innovative lead, we took old, rusty, familiar nautical items and completely reimagined them. Our main inspiration came from good old navigation charts.
All that exploration anchored itself into the logo: the letter V and the dot above representing the route and adventure sailors take. The custom wordmark is bold, simple, and designed to be legible to all sizes and formats. We got extra excited, and tested out how the logo looks and feels on different textures and environments.
Typography had to speak softly, with clarity, and poise. So we combined two fonts—serif and sans serif—to get to that sophisticatedly simple sweet spot. Canela is a graceful display typeface. It’s delicate, it’s sharp, it’s timeless. Its gently flared strokes were the perfect temperature of warmth and quiet confidence we were aiming for. Haas Grotesque Display contrasted beautifully with its geometric minimalism, acting as a great fit for Vela’s modern and innovative design.
Colors were all about simplicity, as well. We went for elegant white and light grey combinations. Inspired by soothing sunrises and sunsets, the palette also features yellow accents that guide through the journey.
Inspired by compasses and nautical charts, we designed custom UI elements that bring the concept, typography, and photography in holy visual matrimony. We believed the most engaging particles of the experience were in the little things. Little things like rounded corners, clean yet warm backgrounds, yellow accents that made the product and its luxurious details the center of attention, always.
Nothing in the real world is static, so why should our digital designs be? That’s why we used animations and transitions to increase usability, utility, and desirability. Dynamic interfaces create a more memorable experience and engage users along the process. Also cool? Seeing the whole printing process: from 0 to boat. Whoa.
The website had to smooth sail from topic to topic and page to page, from home to boat details to customization to tech & innovation to the VR feature. Our goal was to keep scrollers curious and engaged, following a narrative that storytells what Vela is, why it’s different than other boat brands, and how to start customizing and building your dream boat—all with seamless, intuitive interaction. “But what’s the VR part about?” Good question. When customers customize and preorder their boat, they get a VR Oculus headset delivered to them, loaded with an interactive video of their boat. So, you can walk on your new boat, look at it from all angles, and imagine yourself living your best life on it.
Designed for both smart phones and smart watches, the Vela app allows customers to check their boats’ oil, motor, speed, and get live updates on weather conditions.
From business cards, to envelopes, to VR Packaging Kits, our identity kept its sleekness, warmth, and charm and steady winds.